“Happy Friday!” Just the sound of these words bring a smile to many people’s faces. The weekend is about to start, which means sleeping in, meeting friends, spending time in the park, on the beach, and other happy places, heck, maybe just staying in bed binge-watching “House of Cards” all day – but certainly not thinking about anything related to work! A great feeling you might think, energizing and positive. Except for one overlooked fact: The Friday Afternoon Ecstasy has a very ugly cousin called Monday Morning Blues, and they are friends. Very close friends actually – you don’t get one without the other!
So let’s look at this a little closer: “Happy Friday” is not a feeling, it’s part of a philosophy that you choose to live by – or to overcome. It tells you a lot about your approach to life and work, being “on” and “off”, and about what impact your job currently has on your happiness. As a matter of fact, many of us spend a lot of time in our jobs, much more than with our family or friends, and for sure more than on the beach (except for Mitch Buchannon)! Wouldn’t you want to feel good about where you invest that time? Because if you don’t, you are literally wasting one third or sometimes even half or more of your waking hours. Talking about YOLO and FOMO, your attitude to your job is probably the one thing that can have the biggest and fastest impact in regards to changing the quality of your life.
As everything, this medal has two sides – your job and employer itself, and you and your attitude towards it and your definition of work. But for both, you need to think about what’s your circle of control and stop dwelling in the circle of concern. Is it truly the job itself that causes your anxiety on a Sunday evening? Then do something about it! But if you’re honest with yourself, you might find that the person causing these feelings is really you. Yep, I just said it! It’s probably you. If this is the case, you need to get out of your hole, stop feeling like a victim and take responsibility for your attitude and feelings towards work.
One of the most effective ways of creating a new relationship with your day job is realizing what a great thing a job is if you “choose” to do it, rather than feeling forced to your desk. No better way of practicing that then including “chosen work” into your time off. Here is why.
(1) One of the best feelings on earth is the sense of productivity and of getting things accomplished. Wouldn’t you agree? Think about doing your taxes! A nightmare. Actually doing them? After you’re in the zone, it kinda feels o.k.. Clicking the button to hand them in? Priceless! Make the feeling of progress and accomplishment part of every day and stop isolating “work” in the dark corner that’s called work week. It will feel great to have the sensation of success be a more motivational and regular part of your daily routine – no matter if week or weekend.
(2) “Play” feels a lot better if you feel you deserve it for a job well done. That is why Friday evening usually feels best for you – you can treat yourself for having survived the week! But by Sunday evening, the sensation of reward is completely gone, and your brain just accepts “play” as the new reality. No wonder it is hard to get used to the thought of being back on a schedule the next day. Make sure you can feel you’re rewarding yourself with a fun afternoon at the beach for having cleaned your whole apartment in the morning or having taken a language class. It’s not taking away from the weekend fun, it’s actually making it even better!
(3) Having things on the agenda will make you more responsible. The mother of all hangovers on a Sunday morning? Not an option anymore if you committed to helping a friend brush up their resume. If you’re honest with yourself, the last few drinks that caused the hangover weren’t really that necessary, and by the time you left the party, it had stalled anyways. It’s not about being a party pooper but about enjoying the fun parts of it, and the fun parts only.
Don’t get me wrong, everyone has situations where the week just seems unbearable. But we tend to lean back in our misery far too quickly, blaming circumstances that we haven’t even tried to change and then trying to isolate ourselves from it on the weekends as much as possible. The only thing we really avoid by doing this is progress. Not only professionally, but also in your private life. So make sure you maintain a healthy attitude to work. It’s not always about finding your dream job and your passion, your dream company with millions of perks, in your dream location. As with many other things, before you turn to the outside to seek out what to blame – it’s all in your head!